Improved division property based cube attacks exploiting algebraic properties of superpoly

Qingju Wang, Yonglin Hao, Yosuke Todo, Chaoyun Li, Takanori Isobe, Willi Meier

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The cube attack is an important technique for the cryptanalysis of symmetric key primitives, especially for stream ciphers. Aiming at recovering some secret key bits, the adversary reconstructs a superpoly with the secret key bits involved, by summing over a set of the plaintexts/IV which is called a cube. Traditional cube attack only exploits linear/quadratic superpolies. Moreover, for a long time after its proposal, the size of the cubes has been largely confined to an experimental range, e.g., typically 40. These limits were first overcome by the division property based cube attacks proposed by Todo et al. at CRYPTO 2017. Based on MILP modelled division property, for a cube (index set) I, they identify the small (index) subset J of the secret key bits involved in the resultant superpoly. During the precomputation phase which dominates the complexity of the cube attacks, (formula presented) encryptions are required to recover the superpoly. Therefore, their attacks can only be available when the restriction (formula presented) <n is met. In this paper, we introduced several techniques to improve the division property based cube attacks by exploiting various algebraic properties of the superpoly. 1.We propose the “flag� technique to enhance the preciseness of MILP models so that the proper non-cube IV assignments can be identified to obtain a non-constant superpoly.2.A degree evaluation algorithm is presented to upper bound the degree of the superpoly. With the knowledge of its degree, the superpoly can be recovered without constructing its whole truth table. This enables us to explore larger cubes I’s even if (formula presented). 3.We provide a term enumeration algorithm for finding the monomials of the superpoly, so that the complexity of many attacks can be further reduced. As an illustration, we apply our techniques to attack the initialization of several ciphers. To be specific, our key recovery attacks have mounted to 839-round Trivium, 891-round Kreyvium, 184-round Grain-128a and 750-round Acornrespectively.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of 38th Annual International Cryptology Conference
Publication date2018
ISBN (Print)9783319968834
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event38th Annual International Cryptology Conference - University of California, Santa Barbara, United States
Duration: 19 Aug 201823 Aug 2018


Conference38th Annual International Cryptology Conference
LocationUniversity of California
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySanta Barbara
SeriesLecture Notes in Computer Science


  • Cube attack
  • Division property
  • MILP
  • Trivium
  • Kreyvium
  • Grain-128a
  • Acorn
  • Clique


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